SDAHO holds discussion with HHS regional director

Members of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organization leadership team recently participated in a discussion with Dr. Brian E. Shiozawa, Regional Director, Health & Human Services (HHS), Region 8, based out of Denver, CO.

The interactive discussion covered issues ranging from the association’s legislative and regulatory priorities as outlined in the current federal issues brief, ensuring access to care through the federal insurance marketplace, nursing home survey process, civil monetary penalties and the ongoing challenges involving Indian Health Service (IHS).

Dr. Shiozawa was receptive to exploring collaborative solutions to address the issues and shared the four areas of emphasis for the department including: Maximizing the promise of health information technology, improving both quality and price transparency, innovating new models of care and reducing regulatory burden, as outlined by HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

The group agreed to hold future discussions and potential in-person meetings to revisit the issues and further explore the unique needs of rural health care providers and the recently released Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Rural Health Strategy.

Dr. Shiozawa serves as the personal representative for the secretary and ensures the department maintains close contact with state, local and tribal partners and addresses the needs of communities and individuals in South Dakota, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. He is an emergency physician from Utah and has served as a Utah state senator.